You want the best multitool to handle every single job you throw at it, but does it have to cost a lot to be able to do everything you want? Does it need to be expensive to ensure that it is strong and durable? Is a Leatherman the only viable option when it comes to the best one?
For the most part the old adage; you get what you pay for, holds true no matter what you’re buying. That goes for the best multitool as well. However, just like everything else in life, there is room for wiggling. You don’t have to spend a large sum of money to get the best one. As a matter of fact, you might not get the best multitool for you, just because you spent a lot of money.
Everyone is different and we all have different needs. What I may consider the best is not necessarily be the best for you. So first you need to determine what tasks you will be using your multitool for before you decide on which one is the best.
Do you need 43 different tools packed in to one multitool or are you comfortable having a select set of tools that can help you out in a pinch and leave the other jobs to tools that were specifically made for that task? Some people like having 823 tools in their multitool and won’t think twice about struggling with a task using the tool in their mutltitool when a better tool is close at hand. I prefer to get a multitool with the basic tools I don’t normally have at my disposal and leave the bigger jobs to tools that were created for the sole purpose of completing that task and completing it efficiently. I will use a multitool knife to cut something quick if it will do the job without a lot of effort, but I would make the extra effort to grab my survival knife to do something bigger like building a shelter. There are jobs that a multitool will be able to complete but will require a lot more energy and effort than to just use the proper tool for the job. Don’t be one of those people who waste effort and time trying to use their multitools to complete every task. With that said that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a multitool with a lot of tools. If you believe the best multitool for you is one with a lot of tools and believe you will put them to use or can’t bear the thought that you might need that tool at some point in the future, then by all means, set your sights on the multitool with a lot of tools. If you realistically won’t use all those tools, stick to something with a multitool that only has the basics.
Now that you won’t be paying for all those extra tools that you never would have used, you need to determine your frequency of use. Are you a computer technician that will probably use your multitool on a daily basis or are you just looking to get a multitool for those rare moments when you need some basic tools and never seem to have any on hand? Obviously this can change with time. You may decide that you would like to have a multitool on hand for those rare occasions but find yourself using it more often than you thought you would. If you don’t have a good feeling for how often you will be using your multitool, then chances are you won’t be a frequent user. Along those same lines, how hard will you be on your multitool? This can be determined based on the usage you envision for your multitool. Will you be using it to clip wires and opening computer cases or will you be outdoors using it in all different weather conditions? This will affect your decision, because exposure to the elements can wear your multitool down quicker. If you’re going to be using it in your cushy air-conditioned office then getting stainless steel is not as important to you. On the other hand, if you’re going to be using your multitool outside a lot, then maintaining your multitool will require some effort on your part. If you fall in to this category, see how to take care of your multitool.
So you’ve determined what you will be using your multitool for and how hard you will be on it, this allows you to focus on the quality of materials that suit your needs the best. Remember it is best for you and your needs. One that fits your usage and habits. Still there are a few things to avoid, like buying a multitool at the flea market where you can tell the craftmanship isn’t good, just by looking at it. Fold it out for one use of the pliers and you can see that not only is this NOT the best multitool, but you probably won’t get too many uses out of it. That doesn’t mean you need to buy the high-end brands to get a quality multitool. There are plenty of quality multitools made for less than the expensive brands or models. How can you determine which ones are good enough quality or made from decent materials that will stand the test of time and won’t break after a few uses? Go to outdoor stores that sell multitools and hold them in your hand. Open the different tools up. Are the tools loose? I would rather have stiff tools because in time they will loosen up but loose tools usually means poor craftmanship. Get multitools in you hand and play around with them. Check out multitools that you wouldn’t even consider buying. Cheap ones, expensive ones, try out as many as you can. The more you try the better feel you will have for what is considered the best multitool. The go online and read as many multitool reviews as you can. By this time you should have a few models in your head that are in the running. Then you can go back and test those particular multitools out in a store or read as many reviews on those particular multitools. When you finally decide you can feel good that you chose the best multitool for you.